About your geodesic dome.
When you build one of our two-frequency geodesic domes, you'll be
recreating a model of the iconic geodesic sphere concept of inventor
R. Buckminster ("Bucky") Fuller. Introduced over 60 years ago, these
structures embody the pioneering work of Fuller as he envisioned
housing of the future. Always seeking maximum efficiency (as exhibited
by nature), Fuller employed tensional forces in construction as opposed
to relying on compressive forces alone which was the de facto method
of construction at the time. Unlike square right-angle buildings, geodesic
domes strike a balance between tension and compression to create extremely
strong structures, without internal support, that can enclose the maximum about of interior space with the minimum amount of surface area.
Fuller’s popularity dramatically increased with the design of a 250-foot diameter, 20-story high dome which was used to house the U.S.A. Pavilion at the 1967 World's Fair in Montreal, Canada. Other designs which utilize similar
dome architecture includes the Epcot center in
Orlando, the gold dome in Oklahoma City, and
the MillenniumDome (now O2 Arena) in London.
The Southern Illinois University professor and
visionary was convinced that the unique
spherical structure would eventually evolve and
lead to a variety of special and unique
applications. And, of course, he was right. The
geodesic dome has since been adapted for
residential and commercial construction
throughout the world. As a testament to their
stout design, domes are used as living spaces in polar regions, the most inhospitable habitats on earth.
Due to their lightweight and expansive interior space, geodesic dome configurations have been proposed for use on planets other than our own. In fact, these futuristic structures are prevalent within modern media
as depicted in Stephen King’s
novel Under the Dome (2009)
and the TV adaption of the same
name (2013). There are also
dome-like structures in films like
Silent Running (1972); Logans
Run (1976); and on the planet
Krypton in the 1978 Superman
film. These different iterations of
the dome capture a (largely 20th
century) fascination with geodesic structures, and how they became synonymous with
visualizing and interpreting ‘utopian’ futures. But the concept of domes remains as a popular projection into the twenty-first century. With the help of computer computations and AI (Fuller had access to neither), we may be fast approaching the day colonies of space travelers will be living full time within the confines of something similar to a geodesic dome that will provide everything needed to sustain life as we know it.
But the story doesn’t stop there. Two years after Fuller’s death in
1983, a group of scientists at Rice University discovered a new
organic molecule (C60) that so mimicked structures designed by
Fuller, a group of molecules were generally named “fullerenes”
with one molecule more aptly named “buckminsterfullerene”.
Referred to as “Bucky Balls” these molecules were quickly
rationalized as the basis of an icosahedral symmetry closed
cage structure. To add more credence to the finding, three
scientists were awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
for their roles in the discovery of buckminsterfullerene and the
related class of molecules - the fullerenes.
So geodesics lives on in the hearts and minds of scientists and hobbyists alike. Perhaps you’re building this dome for a coffee table-top display or to hang from the ceiling. Or maybe you love working outside the box (dome) when adding something new to your hobby room collection. The scientist in you may want to construct
a geodesic dome in an effort to learn -
firsthand - about geometry, great circles
Whatever your creative purpose, you're sure
to enjoy the hands-on experience of following
in the footsteps of one of the great futurists of
the 20th century – R. Buckminster Fuller.